James R. Horney, the Center’s Vice President of Federal Fiscal Policy, has issued a statement on President Obama’s budget proposal. Here’s the opening:
President Obama proposed a balanced and well-designed package today that would boost economic growth and jobs in the short run while stabilizing federal debt as a share of the economy after 2013.
By keeping federal debt held by the public from growing as a share of the economy, the President’s proposal would meet the definition of a “sustainable budget” that economists often use. The President’s program cuts and revenue increases would take effect as the economy recovers, putting the federal budget on a sound footing through the end of this decade.
To be sure, policymakers would have to take further steps in coming years and decades, particularly to slow the rate of growth of health care costs, to keep the debt from starting to rise faster than the economy again after 2021. But, make no mistake, achieving stability through the end of this decade would represent a major accomplishment and buy time for policymakers to design and enact the changes in the health care system (in both the public and private sectors) needed to slow cost growth.